Catherine Daly
Howrah Bridge: Rabindra Setu


I drew in to Howrah Station along the river
to the city rising from the swamp.
Amid the muck and refugees, I saw a white bridge
cantilevered over the flat land and flat water,
improbable technology,
truss and girder like buttress and clerestory arch
spanning the Hooghly, thrust
into Calcutta. The bridge
is a new mathematical prayer
performed by clerks and reams of carbon paper,
clocked and numbered as if doves
fly across daily at 2:00 p.m.
Horse carts and chickens wander over its asphalt.